Who is the “Bicycle Doctor”?
Thought you might ask. Actually, Bicycle Doctor is two people: my wife and myself, Robert and Cydne LaBonte. Together we believe we run the best bicycle repair shop in Springfield. Cyd is the organizer, decorator, accountant, and all around “shop girl”. Me?– I’m the one with the greasy wrench in my hand, which is exactly what I love to do.
I have been an avid cyclist through most of life’s journey. I remember my first bike and the shop where Dad bought it. The bicycle was bright yellow. The shop was small, smelled of rubber tires, and was filled with the most wonderful machines. He could have gone to a department store, but Dad believed in buying the best for the money. He taught me to appreciate things that are well-made and dependable. My grandfather showed me how to fix problems and maintain my bike. That yellow bike was my trusted companion for years, and the beginning of a life-long passion.
Just after college I went into partnership with a friend to form Pedal Power Cyclery in Rolla Missouri. This is where I “cut my teeth” as a mechanic. I love the mechanical aspects of the bicycle as much as I enjoy spinning down the road. The Pedal Power experience also taught me the value of personal service in making a business successful. After working as a restaurant manager in Florida, then decades as an artist and custom wood worker here in my hometown of Springfield, I decided to return to my first love and went to work for two local shops as a bike mechanic.
In early 2012, I purchased the old McClernon Realty building, a converted 1938 service station on North 5th Street. After remodeling, installing solar panels, and adding a storage building, Bicycle Doctor was opened on May 1st 2012. This was a dream-come-true. Cydne and I now work side-by-side to give Springfield a different kind of bike shop experience than the “boys club” atmosphere that seems to pervade this industry. We believe in old-fashioned personal service, giving the customer great value for their money, and reaching out to the community to make Springfield a better place for cyclists.